The Critical Balance Between Development and Preservation:The Only Way for a Healthy Future
Within this ecosystem, the oceans and coasts perform vital functions such as climate regulation, disintegration of pollutants, and production of food and resources, while providing habitats for living organisms.
In addition, from generating tourism, recreation, and leisure, to providing medicine, offering raw materials for industrial production processes, serving as a source of technological inspiration, and so on, the functions of the ocean and the coast are indeed varied, wide-ranging, and of high economic value.
Yet, the marine and coastal ecosystem is today in grave danger. Industrialization and drastic changes in human modes of living have meant sometimes detrimental transformations imposed on ecosystems. Just in recent decades, for example, it is said that 15 out of 24 ecosystems surveyed for the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment have been found to be damaged, with untold consequences that seriously undermine planetary and human well-being.
EXPO Yeosu 2012 Key Facts*
➢ The annual net worth of the Earth’s nature’s services (ways in which nature benefits humans) is estimated at USD 33 trillion
➢ The ocean accounts for about 63% of the total value of the Earth’s ecosystem
➢ The wide array of functions of the ocean serves includes: precipitation, climate control, nutrient cycling, disintegration of pollutants, as well as provision of food, raw materials, restful areas, and habitats for living organisms
* From “Application for Recognition of Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea”
By exploring the sub-theme of “Coastal Development and Preservation,” EXPO Yeosu will aim to highlight the value and numerous functions of the marine environment as well as the imperativeness of its preservation for both our survival and prosperity.
From the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005):
“All the oceans of the world, no matter how remote, are now affected by human activities.”
“… throughout human history, no period has experienced interference with the biological machinery of the planet on the scale witnessed in the second half of the twentieth century.”
“…human impacts are now ubiquitous and of greater intensity than at any time in the past, and in most cases we can no longer plead ignorance of the consequences.”
The health of the oceans and coasts require immediate and urgent attention, on a global scale – and EXPO Yeosu 2012 intends to have this message heard by the world.